• Europol has arrested 5 of Bitzlato’s senior executives, including the CEO, financial director, and marketing director in Spain.
• In course of the house search, Europol said it seized about €18 million ($19.5 million) worth of cryptocurrency and froze over 100 crypto accounts holding assets worth about €50 million ($54.3 million).
• Further analysis by Europol disclosed that about 46% of the assets exchanged through Bitzlato worth roughly €1 billion ($1.08 billion) had links to criminal activities.
On January 23, 2023, the European Union police agency (Europol) announced that they had arrested five senior executives of the sanctioned Bitzlato exchange. This arrest was made following eight house searches across Spain, Cyprus, Portugal, and the United States. According to the report, the arrested individuals included the CEO, financial director, and marketing director of Bitzlato.
The searches resulted in the seizure of about €18 million ($19.5 million) worth of cryptocurrency and the freezing of over 100 crypto accounts holding assets worth about €50 million ($54.3 million). Furthermore, Europol also discovered that Bitzlato had facilitated the laundering of various crypto-assets, including 119 Bitcoin worth €2.1 billion.
In addition to this, Europol’s analysis of the assets exchanged through Bitzlato revealed that approximately 46% of them, worth roughly €1 billion ($1.08 billion), had links to criminal activities. On January 18, Bitzlato’s founder Anatoly Legkodymov was arrested by US authorities for running a money-transmitting business, and leading crypto exchange Binance was named as a top three recipient of Bitzlato’s illegal funds.
Europol’s investigation into Bitzlato is an example of the growing prevalence of crypto-related crime. It is likely that in the future, more exchanges will come under scrutiny, and more arrests will be made as law enforcement agencies become better equipped to tackle these kinds of crimes.
• Decentraland (MANA) has surged 73% over the past week, now trading just below its pre-FTX collapse price of $0.7137.
• Over the same period, the total crypto market cap has seen a significant growth of $156 billion, driving token prices across the board.
• Jan. 16’s daily candle pattern indicates some market indecision at the current price.
The past week has seen a surge in the price of Decentraland (MANA), now trading just below its pre-FTX collapse price of $0.7137. This appreciation has come off the back of its partnership with the Australian Open and strong GitHub activity, resulting in a 73% gain over the past 7 days. This growth follows a limited data set that suggests the end of this bear cycle, with Aptos leading the charge of the top 100 projects with a 77% jump, followed by Decentraland at 73%, and Helium at 54%.
The beginning of this bullish trend can be traced back to Jan. 08, when the total crypto market cap saw a substantial growth of $156 billion. This price surge saw token prices across the board experience an uptrend, with Decentraland hitting a low of $0.2858 on December 2022 before experiencing a 34% swing to the upside on Jan. 13. Subsequent days have all resulted in significant upside swings, culminating in a peak price just below the pre-FTX collapse level today (Jan. 16).
Although the price of Decentraland appears to be trending higher, the daily candle pattern on Jan. 16 has printed a small candle body with a long top and bottom wick, indicating some market indecision at the current price. Nonetheless, the peak-to-trough move of +156% over the past week is a sign of renewed optimism for the year ahead, with Decentraland leading the charge.
1. In 2022, more than 20% of Bitcoin was withdrawn from exchanges, surpassing 2020’s withdrawal rate of over 10%.
2. Currently, there are 2.26 million Bitcoin still stored on exchanges, amounting to 11-12% of the Bitcoin supply.
3. Many events such as the Luna and FTX collapses triggered the exodus of Bitcoin from exchanges.
The crypto world has been abuzz about the amount of Bitcoin that has been withdrawn from exchanges in the past year. In 2022, more than 20% of Bitcoin was withdrawn from exchanges, surpassing 2020’s withdrawal rate of over 10%. This is a significant event for the crypto space, as it shows that more and more people are taking control of their own coins, instead of relying on exchanges to store them.
Currently, there are 2.26 million Bitcoin still stored on exchanges, amounting to 11-12% of the Bitcoin supply. This is a significant decrease from the same time last year, showing that more people are taking their Bitcoin off exchanges and into their own wallets. This is an encouraging sign for the crypto community, as it shows that more people are becoming savvy about the security of their coins.
Many events have triggered this exodus of Bitcoin from exchanges. The Luna and FTX collapses were two significant events that caused many people to lose trust in exchanges and take their coins into their own wallets. Additionally, the increasing awareness of the phrase “not your keys, not your coins” has caused more people to take control of their own coins, rather than trusting exchanges to store them.
All in all, the amount of Bitcoin withdrawn from exchanges in 2022 is a sign of progress for the crypto community. More people are taking control of their own coins, and this is a positive development for the security of the crypto space. As more people become aware of the phrase “not your keys, not your coins”, it is likely that more Bitcoin will be withdrawn from exchanges in the future.